State briefs for Feb. 22, 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Jewish group wants US to cut ties with Poland over law

BOSTON — A Boston Jewish organization is calling on the U.S. to suspend ties with Poland over its controversial Holocaust law.

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization, is circulating an online petition and video in which supporters repeatedly say “Polish Holocaust” in defiance of the new law, which would effectively ban such statements.

The law allows for prison terms of up to three years for blaming Poles for crimes committed by Nazis who occupied Poland during World War II.

The law takes effect Feb. 28 but is being reviewed by Poland’s constitutional court. It has sparked a bitter conflict with Israel, where it is seen as trying to whitewash the actions of some Poles during the war.

The foundation says more than 3 million Polish Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

Arrest made in hit-and-run death of 85-year-old woman

ADAMS — A Massachusetts man has been charged with striking and killing an 85-year-old woman with his vehicle and then driving away from the scene.

The Berkshire district attorney’s office says 61-year-old David Sookey Jr. was charged Tuesday with leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident and obstructing a police investigation in the death last Friday of Theresa Marby in Adams.

Sookey is free on personal recognizance and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. It could not immediately be determined if he has a lawyer.

Friends tell The Berkshire Eagle that Marby was the longtime president of the auxiliary at the Adams VFW post and worked at a local McDonald’s restaurant for 30 years.

Transit bosses under fire for $100K bathroom

BOSTON — Massachusetts transportation officials are under fire for authorizing a no-bid contract for a tiny, $100,000 bathroom inside a state office building.

WCVB-TV reports that the 115-square-foot bathroom and adjoining kitchenette was installed last year at the State Transportation Building inside the new state Transportation Department and MBTA board room.

The project was fast-tracked and not put out to bid, which is usually done for state projects to make contractors compete for the work and keep costs down.